There are only 2 places that we will forever get to call home: our bodies and the Earth.
It’s easier to take care of our bodies because we are the only ones in charge of it. We don’t have to fix someone else’s mess and we know that we are the only ones who can make positive change happen. But when it comes to the Earth, it can feel a bit disheartening because for every 1 person that cares, there are 10 people who don’t. So why should you spend your time and energy fixing what everyone destroys?
Everyone makes a difference. Every action, every choice you make, makes an impact. If we all adopt just one green habit, think of the change we would make on the world. Your choices matter, now more than ever. Consider implementing some of these ways to get green and healthy at the same time to even the slightest degree in your life.
Walk Everywhere. The obvious benefit of this is the extra exercise that will be added into your day. You burn around 50 calories every 10 minutes of walking, which adds up significantly, not to mention the infinite mental health benefits that walking has. Car pollution is one of the greatest causes of global warming. Be mindful of how much you drive. If you know you need to run across town for something, get all your errands out of the way while you’re out and about. This will save you money and time that you can spend doing something you love.
Adopt a More Plant-Based Diet. The question does not have to be whether you care about animal cruelty. Eating meat causes a lot of distress in our environment. More than 30% of Earth’s surface is being used to raise and support livestock and this accounts for 9% of carbon dioxide deriving from human-related activities. In 2006, the United Nations said raising animals for food generates more greenhouse gases than all the cars and trucks in the world combined. Do your part by cutting down on meat consumption. Start a meatless Monday or vow to eat a plant-based dinner every night. Imagine if everyone cut meat out of their diet just one day a week and the difference it would make.
Buy Second-Hand. Instead of paying full price for that brand new gym set, think about buying it lightly used. There are so many Facebook groups for every brand under the sun that you can buy/sell/trade virtually anything. A couple you might be interested in are Gymshark USA- Buy/Swap/Sell or Fitness clothing- USA High End Buy/swap/sell. You will be saving money, reducing material circulating around, and reducing harmful greenhouse gases produced by factories that make these goods.
Reusable Water Bottles. It blows my mind that there is still a demand for disposable plastic water bottles. LIKE WHY?! We should already be carrying a water bottle with us at all times like it’s our phone because hydration is so important for our health. I can’t remember the last time I paid for water. Even during international travels, I sent a goal for myself to never have to pay for water. There are thousands of brands that make reusable water bottles that are much bigger than the typical 16-ounce good-for-nothing pieces of plastic that are polluting our Earth. There are brands that have amazing missions like Path Water who make refillable aluminum bottles of purified water out of already recycled materials. Sadly, the reality is a lot of things that are recyclable end up in landfills anyway.
Eat Out Less. Getting take-out comes with a lot of unnecessary packaging. You get your styrofoam box with your little plastic spoon and fork, mini packages of condiments and salt and pepper, and a plastic bag to carry it all. Even when you eat at a restaurant, think of all the water they use cleaning every cup that you use because instead of refilling it they insist on bringing you a new one. At fast food restaurants, often times they don’t even have an option to recycle. Restaurants create a lot of waste. Eating out, as most of us know by now, is not very good for our health anyway. From the loads of added salt and oils, a simple meal out can put you in a large calorie surplus without you even knowing it.
Support Local. Go to your local farmer’s market and stock up on that fresh produce, delivered straight from the farm to you. By taking out the middle-man (the grocery store), you’re removing large polluting trucks on the highways. You are getting fresh produce, not stuff that has been in the back of a semi for a 5-day trek across the county, then placed on shelves of a grocery store. It’s not common to see loads of plastic/other packaging used at local markets either.